According to recent press reports, it appears that Korean people’s happiness index is very low. According to a thesis ‘International Comparison of National Welfare Level’ written by Nam, Sang-ho, a researcher in Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, Korean people’s happiness index is ranked 33rd out of 34nations in OECD. Though we live in the society where one person earns 25,000 dollars, most Korean people feel tired and are living unhappy life. Collegians who live in this reality take it for granted that making money is more important than searching for their own happiness. I want to introduce an alumnus who tries to convey true happiness to students who are missing happiness in their life. On 14th January, 2014, we met Song, Young-dae alumnus at a literature coffee shop 'bombom' bordering on Sinchon train station. He graduated from Gachon (kyungwon) university, the department of electronic engineering 91.Song, Young-dae alumnus is the director of Happiness Management Institute which is one man business, adjunct professor and speech reviewer. He is the author of Happiness Germinates Hope and is sharing his story on twitter, facebook and blog. Let's listen to alumnus’ life story who wants to share happiness with many people.
1. I want to know how your school life was.
As a student, there was nothing special. I was a diligent student and relationships with a professor helped me greatly. I entered the university with the lowest grade. So I had inferiority complex. I wasn’t interested in studying as a freshman. One day, I submitted a blank paper in test, which gave me a chance to have close relationships with the professor. Later, I received help from counsels with the professor. When I graduated, he took care of me a lot. Also I once joined a computer circle. At that time, I didn’t have a computer, so I practiced typing on a keyboard in a circle room. Now writing is the major part of my job and past experiences give me a lot of help.
2. What made you quit your job and start your own business? What’s the cause of your determination?
Originally, I hate to take a lecture, study and read a book. I heard a lecture by novelist Kim, Hong-sin by chance. When I heard a lecture, he defined happiness as follows: happiness always exists within us and by us. This really came to my mind. He also mentioned ‘Live for others rather than for myself. In order to change others, change yourself first. ’I heard this 4 years ago, and I still remember it vividly in my mind. After listening to the lecture, I started ‘time travel to find myself’ for 7days.Then I read a book Considerations and thought, ‘let’s follow the main character of this book’. So I thought that it could be good to send e-mails about good writing to my acquaintances. People usually suffer from Monday sickness so I think that they would overcome Monday sickness and spend a week vigorously after reading an interesting story, poetry or lyric of a song on Monday morning. I started to write ‘Monday letter’ from 2ndof November, 2009.To find impressive writings, I continuously read books and heard lots of lectures. I organized what I’ve heard from lectures and sent e-mails about them, which enabled me to have an interest in self-improvement. In one sense, my life was changed due to Prof. Kim, Hong-sin’s lecture. He told me that ‘if I’m changed, others also change’. So I decided to influence other people’s lives by changing myself. Up until that time, I had persisted in working in a company so I prepared to transfer to another company. But I changed my goal to become an instructor teaching self-improvement, writer, and columnist. I remembered ‘happiness always exists within us and by us,’ in other words, myself depends on how I manage myself. So I brought up a keyword ‘Happiness Management’. I have an enterprise which is not yet registered as a corporation, it only has its name.
3. There are lots of college students who just strive to be employed by major companies, without knowing what their dreams are. Do you have any advice to them?
I have a story for college students, in particular, jobseekers. I think it’s meaningful to work in small and medium-sized businesses at first. I’ve worked in small business at first. Once, a person who worked in Korea Financial Telecommunications and Clearings Institute left comments on our business homepage site, saying “‘I’m very thankful to Song, Young-dae who worked diligently in our company. So I’m posting this writing.”The head of business read that post and he called me. Owing to that post, I received a citation and my team leader cherished me. Consequently, I was recommended to CJ.I didn’t even dream of working in a major business. I’ve just done my duty with diligence and responsibility. When I went to my work, I always thought ‘I am the owner of the company. ’Wherever I worked, I thought, ‘I am the representative of company’. Accordingly, I would like to tell young job seekers not to prefer only major businesses. If you work hard, you can get a chance to work in those major businesses I think highly of experiences so I want to say it’s okay to start from the bottom. Adversities will eventually become your foundation. That way, you’ll also be able to understand other people’s perspectives, too.
4. It seems that successful people have some similarities. What do you think those are?
That’s quite obvious. Do something that you are passionate about and good at. Plus, don’t let money possess you. These three are the key points. If what you want to do is different from what you are good at, do something that you are good at. For example, there is a person who really wants to be a singer but is tone-deaf. He has much difficulty making his dream come true. In that case, I would just say do what you are good at and keep your interests as your hobby. Those are the keywords I chose when listing to lectures. The rest will naturally come to you. Sometimes it was painful, but I have been doing so. Park, Yong-woo’s Design Your Point of View was chosen as the best seller last year. I often quote what he says ‘Unless you give up, it’s just one of many processes.’ Therefore, I think if you don’t give up, you will achieve it eventually.
5. What’s your standard of happiness?
I am a researcher of Happiness Management Center. One of my jobs is to practice what I learn from a lecture or a book. Most of businesses have their own vision and slogan. I am running one man business so I had a vision and a goal, but didn’t have a slogan. While I was wondering “What slogan would be good?”, it occurred to me that as I am running Happiness Management I ought to have my own standard of happiness. And I came up with this idea; happiness does not exist in the consequences. Vision, goal and slogan encouraged me when I felt exhausted in my life. So I thought of the slogan ‘Happiness lies within the process of setting a vision, a goal and practicing them.’ Later I made a formula, H=VGA.(H=happiness, V=vision, G=goal, A=action) in which my slogan is included. My happiness is not in results but in processes.
6. Are you happy now? If you have a secret to maintain happiness and hope, please tell us.
I get frustrated when people ask me that question. I am still economically unstable. So I might look strange to other people. But I feel happy because I’m doing what I like. But I don’t say it out loud because of other eyes around me. I overcome difficulties by learning. For 4 years, I’ve listened to offline lectures. To my surprise, whenever I felt exhausted, some lectures gave me solaces. For example, when I was suffering economically, the lecture by Lee, Cheol-whan, the author of a book Consolation, told me “The deeper the roots of trees are, the taller they are.” Likewise, when building a skyscraper, underground should be dug deeper and wider.”I was comforted by the idea ‘Constant falling is all for climbing up to the higher level.’ I gain courage, hope and consolation through learning and lectures. Through learning, my life became enriched and my soul was cleared up. Through leaning I’ve attained many things and I will achieve more. My learning will be continuing ceaselessly.
After two hours of interview, our alumnus was liberal with helpful comments. And the interview gave enlightenment to these days' students who only seek for a job at major businesses and financial wealth. Everyone knows that true happiness comes from not money and honor but what he or she is eager to do. Everyone knows giving up money and honor isn't easy. Despite all these, Song, Young-dae alumnus has followed his heart and is living happily. The story of his will definitely bring students in agony encouragement and conviction. < Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >
Song, Young-dae alumnus told about a singer and a performance artist, Poppin Hyun Jun's story during the interview. At first, he danced vigorously even on the back of the stage, thinking of himself as the main dancer, which rendered people impressed by him, and finally he could be a main dancer.
Like this, through alumnus’s story, I want students of Gachon University to be a person who knows what’s important and does his or her best where they belong to, rather than chooses to follow uncertain future.